Rafa Benitez has admitted that he will simply have to try and improve the players he has if he is not able to improve his squad over the January transfer window – suggesting he is unsure whether he will even have money to spend this winter.
With a potential takeover bubbling away in the background, there’s a slim chance new ownership could be in place ahead of the January window, however the fear is that a buy-out is not completed by then – meaning Mike Ashley could well hand Rafa a very slim budget.
Here’s what Benitez had to say in the fall-out from Saturday’s game when asked if he will have money to spend in January:
“I don’t know what will happen (in January),”
“I’ll keep working until January as hard as I can to improve my players, and if we can do something, we will.
“If not, I’ll try to improve the players that are available to me.”
It had been suggested that Ashley would give Rafa funds this winter to keep the club in a healthy position ahead of a potential sale, however these comments from Benitez make that all seem quite unclear.
This hardly reassures us that money will be available to bring in some much needed attacking quality if Ashley is still in charge come January.
That being said, his comments could be matter of fact and typically cautious of Rafa..
“I don’t know what will happen in January”. In fairness, he doesn’t. He doesn’t know who will be in charge at the club for a start.
He then uses ifs and buts when discussing potential January recruitment. This is quite possibly him just being guarded in order to protect any fan expectation – which is totally understandable given his confidence in our transfer dealings took another hit over a frustrating summer.
Hardly the words we wanted to hear from Rafa, but this only emphasises the need for a takeover ASAP.